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# A Deeper Look At An Equation for Intelligence

## Wednesday, February 26, 2014

 Alex Wissner-Gross last year presented a talk and paper on an equation for intelligence.  Now blogger and physisist Michael Scharf has posted a good analysis of the equation, and what some of its implications may be.

A s last year drew to a close, a TEDx Talk featuring Alex Wissner-Gross started quite a stir.  In the talk, Wissner-Gross, a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur laid out what he called an equation for intelligence which was proposed in detail in a research paper.

The equation, illustrated above, names F a force that acts to maximize future freedom of action, to keep options open with some strength, T with S, an amount of diversity to possible accessible futures, up to some future time horizon, Tau.

Wissner-Gross has already implemented the equation in impressive examples of artificial intelligence called Entropica which was featured in the TED talk.  Among these were balancing examples and network orchestration activities.

Now blogger Michael Scharf, who is a trained physicist, has presented an analysis of the equation.  "The message excites me so much, that I don't sleep well since a few days," writes the German Scharf:

Why did the equation blow me away? Because this very simple physical equation can guide us in our decisions and it makes intelligent behavior measurable and observable. It adds a new real physical force to the world, the force of intelligence. From the equation we can deduce algorithms to act intelligently, as individuals, as societies and as mankind. And we can build intelligent machines using the equation. Yes, I know, you may ask: "How can the simple equation F = T ∇ Sτ do all of that?"

Scharf breaks down the equation into simpler terms and language than perhaps Wissner-Gross does in his talk and paper, but some of the most interesting elements of his post are the potential implications of the equation.

One of these key implications is than embodiment may be essential for artificial intelligence.  "AI without a body and senses is no intelligence because it cannot understand and interact with the world and therefore cannot apply any directed force," Scharf writes.  This is essentially a mathematical support for an earlier argument proposed on 33rd Square that volition is an key component of creating Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

Further, Scharf has deduced that there are two ways to increase the intelligence force based on the equation:

1. Make better predictions of the future, which means detect states of maximum freedom of action.
2. Increase the power to move in the desired direction. By adding more energy or being clever in finding paths that require less resources.

Computer scientists have used a version of causal entropy to guide algorithms in the past that adapts to continually updated information. The new Wissner-Gross equation is not meant to be a literal model of the development of intelligence, but it points toward a “general thermodynamic picture of what intelligent behavior is,” Wissner-Gross says.

SOURCE  Michael Scharf